Utah Jazz notes: Rodney Hood scores 28 points in return to starting lineup

First Published      Last Updated Mar 05 2017 09:48 pm

Jazz notes » Guard makes 10 of his 17 shots against Kings.

Sacramento, Calif. • Rodney Hood has been battling a sore knee for weeks. But on Sunday the shooting guard was more concerned with his hot hand.

Hood scored a game-high 28 points in his return to the starting lineup, helping the Jazz escape with a 110-109 overtime win against the Kings.

"I kind of knew in the first half," Hood said. "I got to the free-throw line a couple times and got to see it go in. I got some open shots from my teammates. They found me in the corners and they just told me, 'Keep shooting.' So that's what I did."

Hood hit on 10 of his 17 shots Sunday, including a stretch where he knocked down four straight 3-pointers to help the Jazz rally from a 16-point deficit.

"It was good to have him back out there," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "We wouldn't have been able to come back, no matter how good our defense was, if Rodney hadn't stepped up and made those plays."

Hood believes the bone bruise in his right knee will bother him throughout the remainder of the season.

"I'll continue to deal with it," he said. "It's pretty painful. Just play through it and get my rest when I can."

Hood played 33 minutes in the Jazz's win Sunday.

"We were conscious of not overusing him," Snyder said. "He had a lot of energy when he was making those shots."

With 20 games left in the season, Hood said he will fight through the pain to help the Jazz in their playoff push.

Snyder, meanwhile, wants Hood to push the thought of his injury out of his mind as much as possible.

"Let's not put that in his head," Snyder said when asked about Hood's pain. "He had all good things in his head tonight. He was confident."

Different court

Fellow coaches frequently praise Snyder's work ethic and basketball mind.

On Sunday, the Utah Jazz boss revealed part of his motivation when the Duke Law graduate was asked how someone like himself parlays a juris doctorate into a career as a basketball coach.

"You don't," Snyder quipped. "You just end up with a lot of stupid debt. You're really incentivized not to get fired so you can pay your loans off. That's it."

OK. Maybe there's more to Snyder's journey to becoming an NBA head coach than that. But the coach's law school experience did help him strike one possible career choice off his list.

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